Quick Facts – People
- Population (’08 est.) – 910,260
- Mean travel time to work (’00) – 23.6 min
- Housing units (’08) – 499,456
- Homeownership rate (’00) – 70.8%
Quick Facts – Geography
- Land area (’00) – 279.92 sq. mi.
- Persons per square mile (’00) 3,291.0
- Metropolitan Area – Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Metro Area
About Pinellas County
Homes in Pinellas County are placed throughout 608 square miles of Florida landscape. 54% water, and home to the Pinellas National Wildlife Refuge, Pinellas County rests along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. Its county seat is Clearwater, though its largest city is St. Petersburg – known as St. Pete to the locals, a well-known vacation spot.
Pinellas County homes are populated by almost 1 million people, giving it a population greater than the total population of some states, such as Alaska and Vermont. The schools are served by the Pinellas County School District and accommodate almost 148, 000 students. This district breaks down to 24 high schools, 23 middle schools, a whopping 81 elementary schools, and 9 charter schools. Travelers are provided with four separate airports, including St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, and the nearby Tampa International. Mass transit is provided by the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority which has stops at employment centers and all the local malls. It breaks down to almost 200 buses on 43 routes. The CSX railroad company has lines which have taken over both the Seaboard Air Line and the Atlantic Coast Line.
Employers boasting high numbers of employees for those owning a Pinellas County home are The Home Shopping Club, Nielsen Media Research, Raytheon, and Times Publishing. With such a large school district, the educational system of the county offers the largest rate of opportunities. With nature and education surrounding all those who own homes in Pinellas County the overall tone and attitude of the county’s citizens is always bright and optimistic. Always something to do, always something to see, and always work to be had, Pinellas County is more than a place to live, it’s a place to have a home.
Pinellas officially became its own county in 1912 when it separated from Hillsborough County. It was not long after that – in 1914, in fact – when Tony Jannus scheduled and made the world’s first commercial airline flight from St. Petersburg to Tampa, and the county began writing its own history.
From 1916 to the start of the Great Depression, the county took many strides in infrastructure and municipal institutions such as the construction of the Henry B. Plant hospital in Clearwater – named so for the transportation tycoon who gave the $1 million to build the hospital. It was during this time that Pinellas also saw a huge real estate boom, which only staggered once the Great Depression began, an era which would cripple the strides taken in the prior fifteen years.
In 1941 as the Second World War started, the population growth in Pinellas became sluggish due in part to Military being sent to the county to train for war. However, once the war ended in 1945 the county again began to see a rise in population as those same military personnel returned to the area as both tourists and new residents. This climb in population continued up through the mid 1950s at which point Clearwater was dubbed the fastest growing city in the nation.
Over the next half a century Pinellas County went through many changes. In 1963, the two main railroads in the county (Seaboard Air and Atlantic Coast) merged into the Seaboard Coastline Railroad, (though in 1971 Amtrak took over). Around that same time Pinellas adopted the Commission-Administrator form of government. In the early 80s the Salvador Dali Museum and Resource Recovery Plant opened.
The next several years saw strange incidence in weather, with 1985 beginning a terrible drought which lead to Pinellas County applying watering restrictions. Though, ironically this drought ended with more destruction in the form of Hurricane Elena. However, this would not be the worst storm the area would see. It wasn’t until 1993 when the infamous No-Name Storm, also known as the Storm of the Century, ravaged not only Florida, but the entire Eastern Seaboard. It caused $500 million in damage to the county.
In the late 1990s, the area saw some positives. This started with the creation of the MLB’s Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1998 (ten years later, in 2008 they made it to the World Series, though they were unfortunately defeated in five games by the Philadelphia Phillies). Also in 1998 Calvin Harris became the first African American to be elected to County Commissioner.
Pinellas County Encompasses
Indian Rocks Beach
North Redington Beach
St. Pete Beach